Hideki Yukawa

Hideki Yukawa (湯川 秀樹, January 23, 1907 - September 8, 1981) was a Japanese theoretical physicist and the first Japanese person to win the Nobel prize.

Hideki Yukawa,

He was born in Tokyo, on January 23, 1907. In 1929, he became a lecturer at Kyoto Imperial University in his 22 after graduating from there. After graduation, he was interested in theoretical physics, particularly in the theory of elementary particles. In 1932, he married Sumiko and had two sons, Harumi and Takaaki. In 1933 he became a professor and an assistant professor at Osaka University, at age 26.

In 1935 he published his theory of mesons, which explained the interaction between protons and neutrons, and was a major influence on research into elementary particles. In 1940 he became a professor in Kyoto University. In 1940 he won the Imperial Prize of the Japan Academy, in 1943 the Decoration of Cultural Merit from the Japanese government. In 1949 he became a professor at Columbia University. In 1949 he won the Nobel prize for physics, after the discovery by Cecil Powell of the Yukawa's predicted pion in 1947. Yukawa also predicted K-capture, in which a low energy hydrogen electron could be absorbed by the nucleus.

In 1953 he became the first chairman at Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics [1] An honorary doctorate of the University of Paris and honorary memberships of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Indian Academy of Sciences, the International Academy of Philosophy and Sciences, and the Pontificia Academia Scientiarum are granted to him for acknowledgement in science.

He had been an editor at Progress of Theoretical Physics since 1946. He had published many scientific papers and lecture notes, including Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (1946) and Introduction to the Theory of Elementary Particles (1948), both in Japanese.

In 1955, he joined 10 other leading scientists and intellectuals in signing the Russell-Einstein Manifesto, calling for nuclear disarmament.


Yukawa potential, an approximation for the binding force in an atomic nucleus

List of books available in English

  • Profiles of Japanese science and scientists, 1970 / Supervisory editor: Hideki Yukawa (1970)
  • Creativity and intuition : a physicist looks at East and West / by Hideki Yukawa ; translated by John Bester (1973)
  • Scientific works(1979)
  • Tabibito = The traveler / Hideki Yukawa ; translated by L. Brown & R. Yoshida(1982)


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